If you have a craving for baked beans you can always open a can, of course — some brands are naturally vegan, and pretty good — but they can’t compare to a homemade casserole of vegan baked beans — embellished with bacon (plant-based, of course). If you’re looking for an easy and delicious Great Northern beans recipe, read on!
Use any kind of vegan bacon you prefer, as there are lots of brands to choose from these days. Some are tempeh-based, some are seitan-based, and yet others are made from soy.
You can also make your own Sweet and Savory Tempeh Strips. Use about half of that recipe for this one; make the whole batch though; trust me, you’ll use it up.
Navy beans are most often used in these kinds of baked bean dishes but I prefer cannellini or Great Northern beans, larger varieties of white beans that are similar to one another (but not the same). They’re paired up with pinto or red beans for a bit more visual and textural interest.
For a big, inexpensive dish to feed a crowd, feel free to double this recipe, and use a shallow 2-quart casserole dish if you do.
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
Vegan Baked Beans Casserole (with Plant-Based Bacon)
Here's a homemade casserole of vegan bacon baked beans — embellished with bacon that’s plant-based, of course.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 strips plant-based bacon, cut into small pieces (or about half of a 5- to 6-ounce package), or see Note
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic. minced
- Two 15-ounce can Great Northern beans (or cannellini), drained and rinsed (or 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked)
- 15-ounce can pinto or red beans, drained and rinsed
BBQ sauce (makes 1 1/2 cups; or see shortcut)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup (or use 2 tablespoons each syrup + molasses)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning blend (see Note)
- 2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Heat half of the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the bacon and sauté over medium-high heat until lightly browned here and there, stirring often. Remove to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil the same skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is lightly browned. Stir in the beans and most of the bacon; reserve a little of the bacon for topping.
- Combine the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour into the pan and stir together with the bean mixture.
- Transfer the bean mixture to a lightly oiled 1-quart baking dish (or, you can bake in individual ramekins or heatproof bowls).
- Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and then for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Garnish with a little chopped cilantro if desired, then serve hot.
As mentioned in the headnote, you can make a batch of Sweet and Savory Tempeh Strips; use about half of the yield in this recipe.
Shortcut: This simple BBQ sauce is what give this dish its kick, but if you prefer, you can skip this step and use your favorite bottle barbecue sauce. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups.
Barbecue seasoning is available in the spice section of most supermarkets, one of the major brands is McCormick®. Varieties include smokehouse maple, mesquite, chipotle, and there are lots of others. Discover your favorites, and keep a couple on hand.
If you enjoy beans with plant-based protein, you may also like …
Here are more ways to veganize classic recipes, and more tasty and easy vegan main dishes.
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